Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated Lawyer

June 21, 2024


What is the difference between a regular Driving While Intoxicated(“DWI”) charge and an Aggravated DWI/DUI charge in New York State?

In January of 2007, a new law created the offense of Aggravated DWI in New York. Aggravated DWI is a new category of DWI with stricter penalties and new plea-bargaining restrictions. Aggravated DWI means that the driver has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.18 or more, and is codified in VTL 1192.2-a. Although a misdemeanor, an Aggravated DWI charge is a more serious offense than regular DWI. Not only is the enhanced punishment more serious, but prosecutors are also limited in their ability to plea bargain for the non-criminal infraction of VTL 1192.1.

If you have been convicted of an Aggravated DWI charged (VTL 1192.2(2-a)), the following penalties are possible:

    • Up to one year in jail
    • Probation for up to three years
    • A fine no less than $1,000 and up to $2,500
  • A one year license revocation
  • Attendance at a Victim Impact Panel

Other non-criminal penalties include:

  • A $250 per year assessment through the DMV for three years
  • A $395 surcharge in court

When Aggravated DWI Becomes a Felony Aggravated Charge

Prior convictions of alcohol-related offenses (other than Driving While Ability Impaired) will affect future DWI charges. A driver who commits an additional Aggravated DWI within 10 years of a prior conviction or convictions for an alcohol related offense (other than DWAI) will be charged with a Felony Aggravated DWI.  Like any felony, this felony charge is serious and can result in harsh penalties upon conviction. The “Class” of Felony you can be charged with depends on how many prior convictions you have.  The Felony Aggravated DWI is a type of repeat offender charge that is intended to punish drivers who continue to commit alcohol-related offenses.

For example, if you have been convicted of a second Aggravated DWI charged (VTL 1192.2(2-a)) in a ten year period, the following charge penalties are possible:

  • Up to four years in jail
  • Probation for up to three years
  • A fine no less than $1,000 and up to $5,000
  • A 18-month driver’s license revocation
  • Attendance at a Victim Impact Panel

Other non-criminal penalties include:

  • A $250 per year assessment through the DMV for three years
  • A $395 surcharge in court

Because of the potential for harsh penalties for felony charges, it is essential that you hire an experienced DWI lawyer without delay.

Speaking With an Attorney About an Aggravated DWI Charge

If you, a friend, or a loved has been accused of DWI or an Aggravated DWI in New York, contact Nave DWI Defense Attorneys immediately. We possess the skills necessary to ensure that you make the right decisions in your case, the first time around. Consequences of a DWI are permanent. Not only can it land you with a criminal record and a license suspension, it can also affect your current or future employment opportunities. Choosing the right attorney can ensure that you get the quality representation you deserve.

The attorneys at Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are experienced, knowledgeable, and are here to help you anytime and anywhere. DWI defense is all our law firm does, which ensures that you are choosing a lawyer who is qualified in this area of law. You can choose Nave DWI Defense Attorneys with confidence that your rights will be adequately represented.

Recent Aggravated DWI News Stories

Below are some recent stories related to people charged with an aggravated DWI charge.


Weekends are often associated with relaxing, partying and drinking, but any night of the week can be a time to cut loose. Any night of the week can also land a driver DWI charges. Such was the case this week for a Buffalo area man. The Buffalo News reports that the 48-year-old man was driving his vehicle on Wednesday night and pulled out of a gas station, failing to yield the right of way to another driver. He took a chemical breath test and his alleged blood alcohol content was 0.22%, which is close to three times over the legal limit of 0.08%. He was arrested for violating DWI laws, including aggravated DWI due to his high BAC level. He is also alleged to have had a prior DWI charge in the last ten years, which will likely increase the penalties that he faces.

Aggravated DWI charges can be a bit difficult to understand. Fortunately, there are some very good DWI resources on the web to assist New York drivers in understanding the law. One such resource is the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles website, which details relevant DWI laws in a table. According to the website, first time aggravated DWI charges are punishable by a fine between $1,000 and $2,500; license revocation for at least one year; and jail time for up to one year. A second aggravated DWI charge is a Class E felony charge, punishable by a fine between $1,000 and $5,000; jail time of up to four years, and license revocation for at least eighteen months. A third aggravated DWI charge within ten years is a Class D felony charge punishable by jail time up to seven years; a fine between $2,000 and $10,000 and license revocation for at least eighteen months. Among other factors, a driver can be charged with aggravated DWI if his or her BAC is over .18%.

The experienced attorneys at Nave DWI Defense Attorneys have dealt with many cases involving aggravated DWI charges. For example, in the case of People v. J.J., an Nave DWI Defense Attorneys client was at a bar with his friend when his friend got into a bar fight. The bartender told the client that he needed to get his friend out of the bar, or else he would call the police. The client decided to drive his friend home, and police stopped his vehicle. Apparently the police were already en route to the bar fight when they stopped the client’s car. The client was arrested for aggravated DWI, among other charges. The DA’s general policy was not to reduce aggravated DWI to non-criminal charges, but Nave DWI Defense Attorneys attorneys were not deterred. They explained to the DA that the client had diffused a violent and volatile situation, and that the facts warranted a reduction in the charges. Ultimately, the client was given a plea down to the non-criminal violation of DWAI.

Slew of Aggravated DWI Charges During the Month of May

May has brought its fair share of DWI charges to Buffalo, New York, and surrounding areas. In the past couple of weeks, at least three men have been arrested and charged with violating DWI laws, with blood alcohol levels at more than three times the legal limit of 0.08%.

The first DWI arrest in the string of aggravated DWI charges was on Tuesday, May 10. According to The Buffalo News, a 21-year-old man from Amherst was allegedly weaving his vehicle on Main Street in Clarence when state police observed him and stopped him. The stop occurred in the wee hours of the morning at 2:15 a.m., and law enforcement officers administered roadside sobriety tests to the driver of the vehicle. After Mr. Schmidt failed the sobriety tests he was arrested and taken to the Clarence zone headquarters where his blood alcohol level was measured. Law enforcement officers determined that the young man had been driving with a 0.20% BAC, and he was charged with aggravated DWI.

The second story also comes from The Buffalo News. Just three days later, on May 13, a 55-year-old was observed in his vehicle, which had traveled off of the road in Cheektowaga, and had gone onto the curb. The State Police responded to the scene and his BAC was .18%. In addition to aggravated DWI charges, he was also charged with possession of marijuana and consumption of alcohol in a vehicle.

The most recent aggravated DWI incident occurred on Wednesday, May 29 on Route 33. reports that law enforcement officers pulled a 33-year-old Cheektowaga man for speeding, but found that his license had been revoked and suspended. The officers allege he was intoxicated, and obtained his BAC, which is said to have been 0.18%. He was arrested and charged with aggravated DWI, aggravated unlicensed operation, and other violations.

It is important to note that in New York State, a driver can be charged with aggravated DWI if he or she drives with a BAC of 0.18% or higher. A first aggravated DWI offense is punishable by up to one year of jail time, a fine between $1,000 and $2,500, and license revocation for at least one year. The penalties increase if a driver is convicted of more than one aggravated DWI charge within a ten year period. Aggravated DWI can also be increased to a felony charge.

Aggravated DWI charged can seriously impact a person’s life, and can be expensive, embarrassing and time consuming. If you have been charged with violating DWI laws, it is imperative that you immediately seek out the assistance of an experienced DWI attorney. An experienced DWI attorney can help you understand the charges against you and can help defend your case.

The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem. Corporate offices for Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: 1-866-792-7800. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Attorney Advertising.

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